How High Should A Raised Toilet Seat Be ?


About 18 months ago, my now 90-year-old mother had a hip replacement, and I became acquainted with all the accessories that we were going to need to use. Probably the most important of which was the raised, or elevated  toilet seat. Now there are lots of different kinds out there, but also lots of different heights. And the first question which comes to mind is….

Raised toilet seats, which attach to the toilet, come in a range of heights from 1 inch to 6 inches.

For taller, raised toilet seats, those with legs can add as much as 12.5 inches to a standard 15-inch toilet.

To calculate the raised toilet seat you need, you need to measure from the floor to the back of the user’s knee, then subtract the height of your existing toilet bowl rim from the floor. The difference between the two is the height that the raised toilet seat should be.

In the illustration above, the green arrow represents, the height of the toilet bowl rim to the floor, subtracted from the height of the knee from the floor, and subsequently the height needed for a raised toilet seat.

So, if –

toilet bowl rim to the floor measures 15″,

and an individual’s back of the knee measures 21″ from the floor, 


21″ – 15″ = 6″, 

i.e. a 6″ raised toilet seat is required.

What is a raised toilet seat ?

A raised toilet seat is a device which elevates the height of a toilet seat, to reduce the distance a person has to bend down to sit on a toilet, or to stand up from it.

Raised toilet seats either attach to the toilet in some way, or they are incorporated into a freestanding frame, which is placed over the bowl of an existing toilet.

How does a raised toilet seat help ?

Raised toilet seats help by reducing the distance between standing and sitting when using the toilet.

This leads to a reduction in the stress placed on the joints involved in sitting down and standing up, relieving the level of pain felt by those individuals who suffer with conditions such as arthritis.

The additions of armrests to a raised toilet seat, will help those individuals who have issues with strength, vision, and balance, and make it safer for them to use the toilet.

Using a raised toilet seat should also make the user feel more confident about going to the toilet, and relieve any worries they may have about falling, or the pain involved in sitting and standing.

Hopefully with the new-found confidence, the user will be able to go to the toilet alone, helping them to gain some independence, and also restoring a little of their dignity, as they can use the toilet in private once more.


If you want to learn more about the advantages of using a raised toilet seat, I have a post here on the subject, “How Does A Raised Toilet Seat Help ?”.

How to measure a toilet seat ?


If you are going to buy a raised toilet seat which attaches to the bowl of your toilet, you may need to know that toilet bowls are –

  • standard (round), or,
  • elongated

The standard toilet bowls are smaller by a few inches than the elongated bowls, and are also referred to as round.

If you are buying a model which is not “universally fitting”, you will have to check your toilet, to see which shape it is, so that you get the correct one for your toilet.

The round or standard toilet bowl is 16 1/2 “, and the elongated is 18 1/2 “.

With risers and spacer seats, models are available in both elongated and standard sizes, and it is up to you to measure your seat, to make sure you buy the right one.

If you need to find out how to measure your toilet, you will find that, and more, in my post “How To Measure For A Raised Toilet Seat ?”

What is the highest raised toilet seat ?


The tallest seats that attach to a toilet rim or seat will be 6 inches in height.

The tallest freestanding raised toilet seat that can be placed over a toilet, is the OasisSpace Stand Alone Safety Frame and Raised Toilet Seat, with a seat height of 27.5 inches.

Certain bedside commodes can also be used as raised toilet seats, the tallest of which is the Platinum Health’s GentleBoost Uplift 3-in-1 Commode and shower chair, which has a maximum seat height of 25 inches from the floor.


If you are searching for a very tall form of toilet seat, raised or otherwise, you can read this article of mine which deals specifically with that subject, “What Is The Highest Raised Toilet Seat ?”

While you are looking for raised toilet seats, there is lots more that you can do to make your bathroom a safer place for seniors, or anyone else with mobility issues.

To find out all the different things you can do, to have an instant impact on bathroom safety, take a look here, 54 Bathroom Safety Tips For Seniors – A Helpful Guide”.

So what are the options for raised toilet seats and who do they suit


What most people would consider to be a raised toilet seat is some kind of plastic seat that is attached to the toilet bowl. These can be divided into two types, those where you remove the toilet seat totally and those where you don’t.


If you use your own toilet seat, you can use –



  • oval ring shaped blocks of plastic called “risers” which are placed under the toilet seat raising it up – they come in a range of heights from 2 to 4 inches – they are extremely solid as the toilet seat is removed and then placed on top of the new riser and bolted back down through the riser and on through the holes in the toilet itself that were used for the seat bolts prior to this
  • risers also come with a hinge in them just like seats do, so that you can lift and clean under them
  • I haven’t found a riser with adjustable height, but you can get them with adjustable arms
  • they come as standard and elongated


Of all the options which attach to the bowl of your toilet, risers are the most solid, and if you get them with arms, I think they are a good option for someone who is quite strong and has okay balance.

Some examples of these risers are


  • Nova 3 1/2 inch toilet seat riser
  • Maddak 4 inch hinged seat riser


Basic riser

Hinged riser

Alignment of a riser toilet seat, lid and toilet

Riser with armrests

Riser installed on a toilet under the seat and lid

Clip-On combi seat/risers


These are toilet seats that clip onto your existing toilet seat.

They have an opening in the front which allows you to squeeze them and place the inside rim in the opening of your seat and then let go. They are supposed to hold themselves in position through the tension.


Some examples of this are –


  • Ability Superstore 4 inch Clip On Raised Toilet Seat
  • Performance Health 4 inch Clip On Raised Toilet Seat


Clip-on raised toilet seat - topside

Clip-on raised toilet seat - underside


If you don’t use your toilet seat, you can use –


Seats with spacers


  • a new toilet seat which comes with small plastic legs or spacers on the underside – these toilet seats come in 2 inch or 3 inch models
  • replace your existing toilet seat which you unbolt and then fasten new tall seat in the same place with the new bolts
  • buy the seats with, or without, lids and with, or without, an opening at the  front
  • the seats are either for standard, or for elongated toilets.


Although these seats are bolted to the toilet and are not excessively high, they have no armrest, making it difficult for anyone with balance and mobility issues. I do think you could remedy this though with a grab bar on either side, and then it is quite a reasonable option.

I have, though, never sat on one and cannot vouch for their build quality.

An example of these seats is –


  • Centoco 3L440STS-001 raised toilet seat with lid


Spacer raised toilet seat with lid

Spacer raised toilet seat without lid

Spacer raised toilet seat installed on a toilet

Elevated or raised toilet seats


Elevated or raised seats are a combined riser and seat, and they require that you remove completely your toilet seat.


  • the seats come as 2 inch, 3 inch, 3 1/2 inch, 4 inch, 5 inch and 6 inch models
  • there is no one way to install these units
  • certain models have arms and others don’t
  • the arms may be removable and adjustable, it varies between models
  • make sure you get the right width between the handles for your loved one’s hips
  • the different types all have different weight capacities, so check that before you buy one
  • some raised toilet seats are adjustable and can have two or three heights


The types of fastening on elevated and raised seats –


  •  some simply slot onto the toilet bowl without any bolts or clamping -they have an internal part which goes down a certain way into the bowl to give grip


Some examples of this are –



NRS Comfort raised toilet seat
AquaSense Portable Raised Toilet Seat


Bubble seat raised toilet seat

Bubble seat raised toilet seat - underside

This system for me is very unstable, and I have not seen a model which does this and has arms, so I would only recommend this for someone with good balance and who has strong arms and is assured in their movements, and certainly not for an elderly person with any real issues with strength and balance.

You certainly don’t want to pick a model which is too high where only the toes or less are touching the floor, as people can lose their balance when getting up, and they have nothing to hold onto to steady themselves.


  • some raised seats fit over the bowl slotting on and have fixings on the sides which  have bolts which squeeze onto the bowl to grip it and provide stability in that way


Some examples of this are –


Aquasense 4 inchRaised Toilet Seat with lid
Vaunn Medical Clamp-on 4 inch Raised Toilet Seat


Side locking raised toilet seat with lid

Side locking raised toilet seat without lid

Side locking toilet seat installed on a toilet

These raised sets don’t have any armrest and don’t have any way for an individual to stabilize themselves other than to push on the seat itself, so really need to be accompanied by a grab bar son the wall by the toilet to make them viable at all for an older person. I have used one of this type, and I didn’t find it to be very stable or to give me a lot of confidence in its long term stability.


  • other types of raised or elevated toilet seats have a clamping or locking  system which is worked by a knob on the seat at the front


Some examples of this type –


Carex E-Z Lock 5 inch Raised Toilet Seat with Arms
Medokare 4.5 inch Raised Toilet Seat with Arms
Vive 5 inch Raised Toilet Seat with Padded Handles


Front locking raised toilet seat without handles

Front locking raised toilet seat with handles

Front locking raised toilet seat clamping mechanism underside

Front locking raised toilet seat on a toilet


These are the more expensive types of raised toilet seats and come with armrest and some have adjustable heights.

The locking system on these seats is the most solid looking, and is a kind of clamp which fixes onto the bowl at the front, at the back there is a lip which is designed to slot in under the rim of your toilet bowl.

I would still hesitate to use these with any elderly person who is frail and has real balance problems, and again wouldn’t do so without grab bars next to the toilet for added support, But for less elderly adults over a shorter period of time they may be suitable.

At least with these seats if the user’s feet are a little off the floor – not really recommended – they do have the armrests to help give them support and balance.

Extra wide raised toilet seats with legs


This is a raised toilet seat which is wider than the toilet bowl, and has 4 legs.

The seat is resting on both the toilet bowl and on the legs.

The design stops any wobbliness, gives a wider distance between the armrests for a larger person, and makes the seat more sturdy in general.


The main points –


  • the legs have to be adjusted to the height of the toilet bowl
  • the seat itself adds about 4 1/2 inches in height to the toilet on most models
  • depending on the brand the raised seats may attach differently to the bowl, but with four legs there is no real risk of it coming off
  • these raised seats can take greater weight than those without legs and are more stable


Definitely more solid than the seats without legs, and armrests are a lot easier for an elderly person to use, and as I have seen with my own mom, when a seat has legs it gives the person more confidence when using it, as there is no problem with the seat moving around.


Some examples of raised toilet seats with legs –


Maddak Extra wide Tall-Ette elevated toilet seat w/ aluminum legs, Prod. No. T725881000

Maddak Extra wide Tall-Ette elevated toilet seat with steel legs, Prod. No. T725882000

Mobb 4.5 inchRaised Toilet Seat With Legs Prod. No. MHRTSL

Herdegen Clipper VII 4.3 inch raised toilet seat w/lid and adjustable frame and armrests, Prod. No. 500431

Raised toilet seat with legs

Safety frames with elevated toilet seats


Safety frames with a raised seat are placed over the toilet. You just lift the seat and the lid of the toilet, and the place the frame over the toilet.


  • the seat is attached to the safety frame, and the frame takes all the weight of the body
  • the system is more solid than any seats which are attached to the toilet
  • all the frames with seats have adjustable height, so that the height of the seat is adjusted respectively.
  • the frames also have armrests which make getting on and off the seat very easy, and you can usually adjust the height of those also
  • some frames also have adjustable width


The frames are very solid, but as with all the seats of any frame type, make sure that you have the right frame capacity for you, or your parent’s, body weight.

Some examples of frames are –

PCP raised toilet seat and safety frame 2-in-1

Aidapt President raised toilet seat and frame 

Lattice commode toilet seat and frame 

OasisSpace Premium safety frame and raised toilet seat

OasisSpace Stand Alone raised toilet seat and safety frame

Platinum Health Ultimate Raised Toilet Seat


For the elderly, or for anyone else for that matter these safety frames with raised seats, or portable bedside commodes, are really the only options which afford total support and safety, except for special toilet lifts which are far more expensive and come with electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic assistance systems  to raise and lower the most frail of people.


Toilet safety frame with elevated seat

Toilet safety frame with elevated seat placed over a toilet


Portable bedside commodes


Portable bedside commodes can be used just like safety frames, and all that has to be done is to remove the potty part and the backrest if it’s in the way, lift the seat and lid on the toilet and place the commode over the toilet.

Everything that I have said about the safety frames pertains here too.

If your commode comes with a shield, you can place this under the toilet seat of the commode, and it will avoid any splashing, as it fits down into the toilet bowl – but to be honest we have never needed to use ours.

As I have said quite a few times, my mom has had used one over our toilet for the last year and a half and loves it !

Some examples of portable bedside commodes  are –


Drive Medical heavy duty bariatric commode

Drive Medical steel folding bedside commode 

UltraCommode bedside commode

3 in 1 bedside commode

Drop arm bedside commodes

Taller toilets

If you are looking for a permanent solution to raising your seat as high as you can, and have the money required, I would look at getting some a new taller toilet.

Taller models of toilet do exist –

  • Comfort toilets
  • Chair height toilets
  • Universal height toilets
  • Right Height toilets


All these toilets are taller at 17 – 20 inches from the floor to the rim of the toilet bowl, than a standard toilet by at least two inches.

The tallest of the standing toilets, the Signature Hardware Bradenton Elongated Toilet,  has a bowl rim height of 21 inches without a seat, so around 22 1/2 inches with a seat, which is 7 to 71/2 inches taller than a standard toilet.

Wall mounted toilets can be even higher –

The Kohler Veil Wall-hung Toilet K-6303 has a maximum bowl height of  28 1/2 inches from the floor.

If you are looking for this height, do make sure that you get this specific model, as the other Kohler models have to be wall mounted around 5 inches lower, with the highest seat level at 23 inches.

Features to consider on a raised toilet seat

Features that you want to think about when looking at the raised toilet seats are –

  • height – finding a seat at a height which is correct for you
  • weight – getting the right weight capacity
  • portability – there are some seats which are designed to be used on travel trips and visits, seats which attach to the toilet, and then larger seats with frames which are far more bulky, but easily carried from room to room if needed
  • what toilet shape is the seat made for – is it a universal fit, or is it just for an elongated, or round toilet – this does not apply to freestanding raised toilet seats
  • freestanding raised toilet seats – do you want a model in a frame, which stands over the toilet
  • hinged risers – some risers have hinges which allow you to clean under the seat without unfastening it from the toilet
  • what type of locking system you need, or do you want a freestanding model
  • armrests – some seats offer armrests which can be of great help to more elderly, frail and visually impaired users
  • seat width – seats come in a whole range of sizes on the freestanding models, which is good news for those with larger thighs
  • seats for larger individuals often have elongated seats to help facilitate cleaning – this mainly applies to bedside commodes used as raised toilet seats
  • padded seats – seats which are not hard plastic are available with padding
  • lids – some seats come with lids



If you want to know about the weight capacities of the different types of raised toilet seats, you should take a look at my article “Raised Toilet Seat Weight Capacity: Over 180 Examples”

I have three other post for a larger person which will help you to see what models and sizes are available, you can check out each of these articles here –

“Raised Toilet Seats For A Large Person”

“Do Bedside Commodes Come In Different Sizes ?”

“How Wide Is A Bariatric Commode ?”

How to choose a raised toilet seat ?


To work out what your criteria are, you can ask yourself similar questions –


  • what is the height of the raised toilet seat that you need ?
  • do you want a height adjustable seat ?
  • what is the height of your toilet bowl rim from the floor ?
  • do you have an elongated or round shaped ?
  • what is the weight capacity of the seat you require ?
  • do you have to have any specific features ?
  • do you have enough space for any sized seat ?
  • how healthy is the user ?
  • is the user young or old ?
  • is the user frail or strong ?
  • are there specific medical conditions – visual impairments, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, muscular conditions ?
  • is the user recovering from a surgery ?


Once you know the type of seat you need, you are ready to pick –


  • the brand
  • the model with features you need
  • where to buy it
  • and see if you can get it covered by medical insurance

I have an article which outlines all the questions you should be asking yourself, along with a PDF that you can download and print out for free – “How To Choose A Raised Toilet Seat ?”

How to sit on a toilet after a hip replacement ?

After a lateral or posterior hip replacement, you are going to need to use a walker to sit on a toilet, and to not place your weight on your operated hip, and to avoid bending your hip beyond a 90-degree angle.

Typically, after an anterior hip replacement, you will not have to take these precautions, but you should always check with your surgeon.

If you are looking for illustrations and instructions on how to sit after a hip replacement, along with other precautions, you will find it in this post, “How To Sit On A Toilet After Hip Surgery: A Detailed Illustrated Guide”

How Long Do I Need To Use A Raised Toilet Seat For, After A Hip Replacement ?


If you have had a lateral or a posterior hip replacement, your surgeon will typically advise you that you need to use a raised toilet seat for between 6 and 10 weeks.

Posterior, or lateral, hip replacement surgeries, leave the muscles around the hip, are in a weakened state, have very little tone for some time, and this can lead to some joint instability until the muscles have healed.

This does depend on your state of health, and on your age, and is generally not advised for anterior hip replacements to take these precautions, but as always you must always ask your surgeon.

If you want to learn more about bathing, toileting, dressing aids, walking aids and more, you can check out my post “How Long Do I Need To Use A Raised Toilet Seat For, After A Hip Replacement: Guide with Illustrations”.


What is the best raised toilet seat after a hip replacement ?


Which raised toilet seat is best after a hip replacement really depends on the age of the person involved, their size and general health.

For elderly adults, I would advise, based on experiences with my elderly Mom, a safety frame with a raised seat, or a portable bedside commode with the potty removed.

In the hospital, the nurses and physical therapists show the patients how to sit down after a hip replacement, and how to stand back up again.

Remembering how to do this when you get back home is almost as important as the type of raised seat you use.

The caregiver of someone who has had a hip replacement must be familiar with how this is to be done as well, in order to make sure there are no further injuries.

If you want to learn more on the specific topic of seats for after a hip replacement, I have a specific article on the subject, “Best Raised Toilet Seats After A Hip Replacement”, in which I outline my preferred toilet seats for different types of individuals and situations –


  • best raised toilet seats after a hip replacement for an elderly senior
  • best raised toilet seats after a hip replacement for a larger elderly senior
  • best raised toilet seats after a hip replacement for a younger senior in good shape
  • best raised toilet seats after a hip replacement for larger, younger seniors


The article also looks at  –


  • do you need a raised toilet seat after hip surgery
  • how to sit on a raised toilet seat after hip surgery
  • for how long would you use a raised toilet seat after hip surgery
  • does Medicare cover raised toilet seats
  • how to choose your raised toilet seat


Frequently asked questions

Do raised toilet seats fit any toilet ?


A freestanding elevated toilet seat should be able to be place over most toilets, as they typically have a maximum seat height of at least 21 inches from the floor.

Raised toilet seats which attach to the toilet, depending on the particular model, can be for –

  • elongated toilets only
  • round toilets only
  • universal, fitting both types of toilet type

Can a raised toilet seat be too high ?


If a toilet seat is too high and the user’s feet are hanging in the air, and not flat to the floor, the blood circulation in the legs can be affected, causing the user’s feet to go to sleep, and lead to falls when standing.

Secondly, for those with issues with constipation, a lower seat is more conducive to passing a bowel movement.

What’s the tallest toilet height ?


The tallest toilet height is a wall mounted toilet from Kohler.

The Kohler Veil Wall-hung Toilet K-6303 has a maximum bowl height of 28 1/2 inches from the floor.

The tallest standing toilet is the Signature Hardware Bradenton Elongated Toilet, which has a bowl rim height of 21 inches without a seat from the floor.

How do you raise an existing toilet ?


Your first option is to use a “toilet plinth”, or “toilet riser”, to raise your toilet up from the floor.

The most popular models are –

Medway Easy Toilet Riser


Thetford toilet riser

Easy Toilet Riser

The risers come in a range of sizes, 2 to 4 inches, and are inserted under your toilet.

The second option is to raise your toilet seat you can use a raised toilet seat, which either attaches to your toilet bowl, or is a frame with a seat in it which is placed over your toilet.

What heights do toilet seat risers come in ?


Raised toilet seats which attach to the toilet can be found in a range of fixed heights, from 1 to 6 inches – there are only a few models which attach to the toilet which are height adjustable.

Freestanding raised toilet seats, typically have an adjustable seat height range of 17 to 21 inches from the floor. There are models can have a seat height as high as 23, 25 and 27 1/2 inches from the floor.

These freestanding models are called –

  • safety frame with raised toilet seat
  • 3-in-1 bedside commode


Does Medicare cover raised toilet seats ?


Medicare does not give coverage to raised toilet seats, as they are considered not to be primarily medical in nature.

Certain models of bedside commode are covered by Medicare Part B, for use in the home, with stipulations, and can be used as a raise toilet seat.

Do raised toilet seats come in different sizes ?


With regard to the shape of your toilet, and how the seats fit to that, there are three sizes –

  • universal fit, which as it says is intended to fit most toilets
  • elongated for elongated toilets
  • round or standard for round/standard toilets

Risers and tall seats only come in either elongated, or round, and you need to get the right one, as they sit on the bowl rim under your toilet seat.


Raised toilet seats also come in a range of different –

  • heights
  • widths
  • depths

Seats which attach to the toilet bowl do not vary much in width or depth, but in height, they are available in models from 1 to 6 inches tall.

The greatest range in width and depth, is found in models with legs, typically the 3-in-1 commodes.

Safety frames with raised toilet seats, offer the greatest range of height, and can be a little wider.


How much does a raised toilet seat cost ?


Raised toilet seats cost between $15.00 and $259.00.

This does not include heavy-duty 3-in-1 commodes, as specialist models for individuals weighing a 1000 lb cost a lot more.

Summing up…


To sum up, the height of the frame is really only one of the many things that you need to consider when selecting a raised toilet seat for someone, and you need to look at the health of the person and the conditions in which they are using the seat.


I hope this helps.

Good luck !


I’m Gareth, the author and owner of Looking After Mom and Dad.com

I have been a caregiver for over 10 yrs and share all my tips here.

Gareth Williams

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